Delhi HC upholds CRPF decision to retire constable who shared defamatory message about senior

The division bench said that the constable, with an intention of lowering the name, image and reputation of a company commander, had circulated the message among two hundred CRPF staff members

The Delhi High Court has upheld the CRPF’s decision to compulsorily retire from service a constable who, in 2017, had shared a defamatory message about a senior officer on his WhatsApp group.

The division bench of Justices Manmohan and Navin Chawla said that the constable, with an intention of lowering the name, image and reputation of a company commander, had circulated the message among two hundred CRPF staff members, without any verification and without asking the authorities to investigate its authenticity.

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The message, with which the constable also intended to send photos, was a caption stating that it was a photo of the company commander with a “call girl” at a hotel. The photographs, however, could not be uploaded due to poor signal strength. It was argued by the constable, who was ordered to be compulsorily retired with only 67 per cent compensation for both pension and gratuity, before the court that he shared the images and messages with his DIG (Operations) only with an intent of informing the authorities and not with an intent of defaming the company commander.

However, the court said that it was only after the message had been forwarded among the 200 CRPF officials that it was shared with the DIG (Operations). “Consequently, the petitioner’s primary contention that he had shared the message with the superior authorities with the intent of informing them rather than with the intent of defaming (the officer) is contrary to facts,” added the bench.

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